Virat Kohli shakes hands with Shahid Afridi © AFP
By Ashwin Kumar
Gripped by the football fever, the Indian and Pakistani cricket teams decided to take a break from cricket and have a go at each other in football instead. The two cricket boards quickly worked together to arrange a friendly match in New Delhi that The Unreal Times football correspondent Badtameez Raja was fortunate enough to attend. We bring you the transcript of the live commentary.
Please note this is a humour article – work of pure fiction
2 min: India takes kick-off with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma making play. Outside the D, Mohammad Irfan intercepts a pass from Shikhar and passes it to Umar Akmal. Rohit Sharma tackles Umar Akmal, and the two go down in a tangle. The two players then get up and sledge each other which conclude with Rohit Sharma head-butting Umar Akmal. The referee awards him a Red Card. Rohit trudges back to his dugout, where a steaming bowl of Maggi noodles awaits him.
5 min: PAKISTAN GOAL! Pakistan draws a foul from the Indians outside the Indian penalty area. Saeed Ajmal takes the free kick. Ajmal ambles in, bends his knee, and kicks. The ball changes directions twice in the air. Indian goalkeeper Dhoni completely fails to read it and dives in the other direction. It’s a goal. Pakistan takes lead 1-0.
8 min: Shoaib Malik shows off his dribbling skills. In the crowd, Sania Mirza cheers wildly and blows kisses towards Shoaib. Shoaib pauses to catch those kisses. Virat Kohli promptly steals the ball.
9 min: Sania Mirza gets arrested for sedition; escorted off the stadium by policemen.
12 min: Sensational run by the Indian pair of Raina and Dhawan. With nimble footwork and delectable passing, the two beat several Pakistani defenders and approach the Pakistani penalty area. Raina passes the ball down to Dhawan in the right corner, who dribbles it around two Pakistani defenders and kicks it into the box where Raina is in position already with no Pakistani players around. The ball however comes at a height, and Raina instead of heading it into the nets, cowers in fright and ducks. India fritters away an easy opportunity to equalize.
15 min: Exceptional playmaking by Ajinkya Rahane. After a spirited run that beats several Pakistan players, he passes to Yuvraj Singh who’s well positioned in the Pakistani box. Yuvraj however passes the ball back into the middle of the field. The crowd groans and the Indian players facepalm.
20 min: INDIA GOAL! India gets a corner. Umesh Yadav whips the ball into the box, right towards Raina. This time the ball is low and right in the slot. Raina lets loose an almighty kick and the ball screams into the nets, high and handsome, past Pakistani goalkeeper Kamran Akmal. India equalizes. 1-1.
Meanwhile, back in Mumbai, Arnab Goswami begins a fire-filled Newshour debate with Pakistani diplomat Zafar Hilaly.
25 min: Pakistan almost scores! Shoaib Malik kicks from the corner. The ball seems too high, well beyond the reach of the players, when Mohammad Irfan leaps and heads it towards the Indian goalpost. Fortunately for the Indians, the ball hits the bar, and Indians get a reprieve.
30 min: Almost another goal! Another corner by the Pakistanis. Another header by Mohammad Irfan. A diving stop by Dhoni saves the day for the Indians. The Indian defenders look frustrated. Mohammad Irfan grins.
36 min: SUBSTITUTION: The Indian camp substitutes Dhawan with Dinda.
40 min: INDIA GOAL! Action re-play of the events near the Indian goalpost from a few minutes back. Shoaib Malik kicks the ball in from the corner at an unreachable height. Mohammad Irfan looks all set to head the ball in while the Indians watch helplessly. But this time Dinda leaps to a height of about 15 feet, way above Irfan, and kicks the ball away inches from Irfan’s face. Sir Ravindra Jadeja receives the ball, and sprints towards the Pakistani box, and sends the ball into the nets with a bi-cycle kick. India lead for the first time in the match.
44 min: Dinda leaps over Mohammad Irfan again and lands on his face. The injured Irfan is carried away in two stretchers, into President Pranab Mukherjee’s limousine to the nearest hospital. Pranab Mukherjee tries to protest, but is only able to utter a “Main…” before the limousine speeds away. Irfan is substituted by Wahab Riaz.
India leads at half time. Score 2-1.
46 min: Misbah-ul-Haq kicks off, passes it to Shoaib Malik who passes it back to him. Then Misbah dribbles the ball for a long time, not passing it to anyone or advancing towards the Indian area. The Pakistani fans in the stands start booing him. Eventually, he passes the ball that is promptly intercepted by Kohli. Kohli sprints towards the Pakistani box, and passes it to Ashwin inside the box. Ashwin positions himself, preparing to kick the ball in. Just when he’s about to, he pauses for 2 seconds to look at the goal-keeper presumably to guess which way he’ll dive. By then Shehzad steals the ball and kicks it away. Kohli makes colourful references to Ashwin’s mother and sister.
48 min: INDIA GOAL! Sensational run by Kohli, who refuses to pass the ball this time. Kohli slams the ball in, and scores his 1st goal, and goes on to unleash a volley of abuses at the Pakistani players. Referee asks him to take it easy, at which Kohli gives him the finger. Referee yellow-cards him. Score 3-1 in India’s favour.
Back in Mumbai, Arnab goes all guns blazing at Hilaly. “GIVE IT UP, MR.HILALY! YOU SIMPLY CAN’T BEAT A LION IN ITS OWN DEN!” he thunders at Hilaly, who wipes his forehead with a handkerchief and reaches for a glass of water.
70 min: SUBSTITUTION Spirited defense by the Indian defenders. Frustrated, Pakistan makes its first substitution. Mohammad Hafeez goes out, and in comes Shahid Afridi. The crowd roars. Chants of “Boom Boom” go around the stadium. The other Pakistani players get a tremendous boost and aggressively advance into the Indian area dodging Indian defenders. Umar Gul passes it to Shahid Afridi positioned just inside the Indian penalty area with no Indian player between him and the goalpost. Afridi closes his eyes and blindly swings his foot, and launches the ball way over the nets, over the crowd, into the parking lot. The other Pakistani players facepalm, and the Pakistani fans groan.
75 min: Referee yellow-cards Afridi after he tries to bite the ball.
82 min: PAKISTAN GOAL! Afridi, with the ball in the middle of the field, attempts to pass it to Shehzad. But he kicks it way too hard, and the ball travels in an entirely different direction, right towards the upper right corner of the Indian goalpost. The other players look bewildered, while Afridi reacts as if it was exactly what he intended, and stands in his typical pose – legs set apart and arms aloft, egging the other players to embrace him. The crowd goes wild. Score 3-2.
Arnab is stunned into silence, while Hilaly nonchalantly lights up a cigar. Back in the stadium, Ravi Shastri gingerly approaches the commentary box, with the hope of getting to say “Justttt get the feeling that this match could go all the way down to the wire,” but is dragged away by guards even as he begins the sentence.
90 min: PAKISTAN GOAL! The Indians, clearly looking to waste the rest of the time and finish at 3-2, pass it to each other in their own half while the Pakistani players chase them uselessly. Raina passes to Yuvraj, who passes it back to Ishant Sharma who looks to pass it to Dinda but misses and instead kicks the ball into the Indian goalpost past Dhoni and scores an own goal. The Pakistani players exult and the Indian players and fans facepalm in unison. The score is again tied at 3-3, and the game moves into extra time. Dhoni, however, doesn’t look too concerned.
Arnab buries his face in his hands, while Hilaly props up his legs on the table in front of him, and blows out concentric circles of smoke from his cigar.
Extra time: Neither side manages to score the golden goal. The match moves to a penalty shootout.
1: Shoaib malik takes the first kick. Kicks it low to the right end of the goalpost. Dhoni stays unmoved. Pakistan goes up 1-0
2: Kohli equalizes. Kicks it right between Kamran Akmal’s legs. 1-1
3: Shahid Afridi comes up. Dhoni stretches lazily in the right corner of the goalpost. Afridi runs in, but Dhoni stays unmoved. Afridi whips the ball into the left corner of the goal, and runs off towards his team-mates. Pakistan goes up 2-1. Dhoni continues to stretch.
4: Ishant Sharma comes in to kick. The Indian fans groan. Arms flailing and hair wild, Ishant grunts and unleashes a kick. The ball gently dribbles towards Kamran Akmal who has all the time in the world to collect it but still misses it. The score ties again. 2-2.
5: Umar Akmal takes the kick. Dhoni is now seen leaning against the left post and yawning. The Indian fans look shocked. Umar Akmal slams the ball in. Pakistan go up 3-2.
6: Ravichandran Ashwin comes in, and kicks the ball just wide on the right side. Kamran Akmal dives over the ball and deflects it into the goalpost. The score is 3-3 again. Ashwin throws Akmal a flying kiss.
7: Ahmed Shehzad kicks. Dhoni completely ignores him, and bends down to pet a puppy that has strayed in. Pakistan lead again. 4-3.
8: Bhuvaneshwar Kumar kicks. The ball swings in late and beats Akmal. 4-4.
9: Misbah takes the kick and sends it blazing towards the top right corner of the goalpost – it is an impossible save, but this time Dhoni is there. Hanging on to the overhead bar, he calmly pads it away. The Pakistani players watch dumbstruck.
10: Dhoni takes the kick himself. He warms up, ambles in, and unleashes a helicopter kick. The ball blurs past the clueless Akmal into the back of the nets. Dhoni twirls his leg. The crowd goes wild and India win 5-4.
Hilaly flings the cigar on the ground and stamps it in frustration, while Arnab leaps off his seat and cartwheels his way towards Maroof Raza. The two high five each other and collapse in a tearful hug.
(Ashwin Kumar is a humorist with www.theunrealtimes.com where this article was originally published. The UnReal Times is India’s favourite satire, spoof, parody and humour portal. The above satire was developed by Karthik Laxman)